Local Gatherings 2024
MCH is currently seeking people to host Local Gatherings as part of the 2024 Meeting Point. The aims of this program are to expand the community of people engaged with the Meeting Point platform, and to give practitioners micro-grants to organise events in their local communities.
A Local Gathering can be an activity such as a talk, workshop, seminar or creative action which engages people in connection and exchange in relation to the theme of the 2024 Meeting Point, Perspectives from the Grassroots. It can be a short event (e.g. half a day) or happen over 2-3 days. It can be for a big group or a small group, depending on the topics you want to engage on and the format of your gathering.
By creating a network of multiple local gatherings happening in parallel, MCH aims to generate collective energy to feed into the Meeting Point and to create a sense of connection and solidarity between communities.
● Opportunity: Join a sharing community of people hosting a local gathering as part of Meeting Point 2024, then take part in the in-person program in Hanoi from March 21st – 23rd 2024
● Designed for: Grassroots event organisers and producers, open to connecting themselves and their communities to a regional community of practice
● From: Asia
● Total participants: 10-12 hosts* (Hosts can be individuals, partnerships, collectives or organisations)
● Structure & timeline:
* Exchange workshops for Local Gathering Hosts (2 hours per month online between November 2023 and February 2024, and 1 full day in-person in Hanoi on March 20th 2024)
* Organise a Local Gathering in your local community (any time between March 8th – March 16th 2024)
* One representative of each Local Gathering Host team participates in the Meeting Point in-person (March 21st – 23rd 2024)
● Important dates: Applicants must be available for all the published program dates, including:
* Virtual exchange sessions on 11th November, 14th December, 11th January and 22nd February
* Participation in in-person exchange workshop + Meeting Point in Hanoi (March 19th -24th including travel days)
● Working language: English
● Support offered:
* Grant of between $500 USD – $1,500 USD to organise your gathering
* All costs for one representative per Gathering to attend the Meeting Point in Hanoi
About the Curator
Jeffrey Tan is a Singapore based theatre director, drama educator and creative producer, trained in Australia (BA drama) and the UK (MA Drama and Theatre Education). He is keen to collaborate with artists of any disciplines or communities who are keen to engage with the arts to share lived experiences. Jeffrey has been a fellow with MCH for the Curated Conferences in Meeting Point 2021 and presented the Covid Time Capsule Project at Meeting Point 2022. Please click to the image to learn more about him.
Frequently Asked Questions
ABOUT THE THEME
Can you share more about the theme of the Meeting Point, “Perspectives from the Grassroots”? What does ‘grassroots’ mean?
In the context of the next Meeting Point, MCH is considering ‘grassroots’ to include (but not be limited to): independent cultural workers (including artists), informal arts and cultural groups or collectives, organizations (including arts spaces, NGOs and others, both businesses and not-for-profit). While there are many different experiences, we understand some of the common ground among these different people to be:
● Highly dependent on the individuals involved
● Often facing challenges in finding resources
● Often working on a project basis
● Working in a bottom-up manner
The types of organisations we would not generally expect to identify as ‘grassroots’ would be policy organisations or government agencies. However this is not a set definition.
By discovering varied ‘Perspectives from the Grassroots‘ through the different conversations at Meeting Point, including Local Gatherings, we hope to generate a mapping of the emerging trends and practices of what is happening locally across our network.
How would Perspectives from the Grassroots apply to local gatherings?
This open call is open to your interpretation, and will depend on the relationship of the community you want to gather to the arts, social action, and their interests and concerns.
If you are hosting a gathering of cultural practitioners you might consider topics that focus on shared experiences or concerns. For example, the Curators of other conversations that will be part of the 2024 Meeting Point have chosen topics of Lifecycles of Grassroots Cultural Organisations in Asia and Hitting Pause: Examining Purpose & Practice.
If you are hosting a gathering for people not from the arts community, you might consider topics related to the community’s perspective on arts and culture, or exploring other social topics through arts.
Previous gatherings that have prioritised non-arts communities, have included a workshop involving monks and local youth, exploring reducing plastic use in buddhist rituals, and a dialogue between artists and other community members on concepts of leadership and governance.
The theme is deliberately open to interpretation. And one of the most interesting things in the Local Gatherings program is discovering the different interests and concerns of hosts and their communities in relationship to this prompt. Please find your own connection to the theme.
ABOUT THE FORMAT
Can you elaborate more about the format of the Local Gatherings?
The aims of Local Gatherings are to expand the community of people engaged with the Meeting Point platform, and to give practitioners micro-grants to organise events in their local communities.
A Local Gathering can be an activity such as a talk, workshop, seminar or creative action. It depends on which form is suitable to engage people in connection and exchange in relation to the theme: Perspectives from the Grassroots. It can be a short event, lasts some hours, a half day or happens over 2-3 days. It can be for a big group or a small group, depending on the topics the hosts want to engage on and the format of your gatherings.
Can the format be an art activity?
The format can be designed by the host so it best serves the purpose behind your local gathering. If you would like to have a gathering about art or related to art, that is of course fine. And we welcome you using art and creativity during your gathering. Just be aware we do not expect this project is for creating art work or creating art projects. The purpose is gathering and exchange.
In the Program Overview document, we have listed some examples of previous gatherings, those are also giving you some ideas of how to consider the scale, the format and the budget your gathering requests. However, they are just “for example” and you could design your own. You might also want to see previous Local Gatherings here (scroll down to see previous gatherings in different cities in Asia).
Please clarify the location(s) where the Local Gatherings happen; is it in Hanoi at the Meeting Point or somewhere else?
The local gatherings hosted and implemented by the Hosts happen in your own local area, with your local community. They happen between 8th and 16th March. After the Hosts have implemented their gatherings locally, the Hosts (or one representing the hosting team) will fly to Hanoi on March 19th 2024 to participate in the workshop on March 20th and 3-day(March 21, 22, and 23) Meeting Point in Hanoi.
ABOUT PARTICIPANTS FOR THE GATHERING
How do you identify “local community”? Can it be specific to certain community, for example, local LGBTQ+ community?
This will be planned and identified by the hosts. Each host can identify who is the local community the host wants to work with and each host design the format of the gathering to respond to the theme “Perspectives from the Grassroots.” It is fine to define a very specific community who you would like to gather (e.g. LGBTQ+ community), or to have it more open.
Does the gathering need to be open for the public to participate or by invitation?
It depends on each Local Gathering’s project. The host could design the aim, topic and who should be the target/right audience. In the past gatherings have been:
● Open to the public
● Open to those who register in advance
● By invitation only
● A combination of the above
It will depend on the focus of your gathering which of these is appropriate. From MCH perspective, all of these are fine. And if the nature of your topic means a closed door discussion is the right approach, we will support it.
EXPECTATIONS OF THE HOST
Hosts of the selected Local Gatherings will travel to attend Meeting Point in Hanoi, how will that be arranged?
MCH will cover the travel cost, including return flight to Hanoi, transportation to airport, and accommodation in Hanoi, of one representative from each Local Gathering’s host or hosting team. The Hosts will arrive in Hanoi on March 19th and leave on March 24th. All the representatives will attend a full day workshop on March 20 to share and reflect their gatherings facilitated and supported by Jeffrey. They will also finalise details of what they plan to share to the general audience during the Meeting Point.
If we apply as a group, should it be the same person(host) attending the 4 times of networking sessions and attending the Meeting Point in Hanoi?
Yes. During the 4 times of networking sessions, any Local Gathering that is being hosted by more than one person can have up to three (3) representatives participating in the online networking sessions. The representative that will attend the Meeting Point in Hanoi must be named when we sign the Terms of Reference for participation and support (which will be after MCH offers a place on the program and the Host(s) accept it). That named person must attend all four online networking sessions. For individual applications, the Host is also expected to attend all four networking sessions. If this agreement is not followed, the invitation to Hanoi is not guaranteed.
ABOUT THE APPLICATION
If we have more questions, whom should we ask?
Any more questions, please contact Jennifer LEE at email@example.com.
What is the deadline to submit the application and where should we send it?
The deadline of submitting your application form is Sep 10th 2023 (before 23.59pm of ICT time/UTC+7/Bangkok time). Please send your application form to Jennifer LEE (firstname.lastname@example.org). She will reply to let you know we have received your application. If you have not received any reply from her within 3 working days of submitting your application, please contact us again.
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